13 April 2012 at 15:03 BST

Chief Justice calls for training reforms

Zambia's top judge has fired a broadside at the country's legal education system, calling for wide-ranging reforms and improvements to standards.

Zambia: lumbering towards legal education reforms

Speaking at a ceremony admitting newly qualified local practitioners, reported by the Zambia Daily Mail, Chief Justice Ernest Sakala challenged Zambia’s leading legal education establishment – the Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) – to overhaul and modernise its courses.

Standard curriculum

Reporting on the speech, the Zambia Daily Mail said the judge was particularly critical of the lack of a standard curriculum in the country’s schools, which, he said, was having an impact on the quality of legal education.
Chief Justice Sakala noted that the liberalisation of university education – particularly legal education – had split the system into academic and professional parts. The Times of Zambia reported that the judge said that split had resulted in poor development of law schools.
‘It is... important that the council of ZIALE, through its accreditation committee, puts in place measures aimed at strengthening its oversight role of law schools both public and private’, the judge said.

Transparency

The Times of Zambia reported that Chief Justice Sakala wants the institute to establish reforms that would be designed to ‘enhance predictability and transparency’.
In addition, the judge urged newly qualified lawyers to adhere to the legal profession’s code of ethics while practising the law. He maintained that the independence of the legal profession is rooted in public confidence and the protection of its interests.
 
   
 
 
 

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